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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Blogs connect, inform students

There are more than 800 million active Facebook users worldwide, nearly one billion tweets are sent on Twitter each week, Tumblr features more than 34 million blogs, and more than 500,000 new posts are produced by WordPress users each day, according to each respective website.

Kyle Oman, a first-year communications graduate student, all of these sites and many others like them facilitate the same thing: blogging.

“Students are blogging constantly but they don’t associate what their actions are with blogging. I’m sorry, but updating your status on Facebook and posting pictures on your timeline, that’s blogging, whether or not you want to do it,” he said.

Blogging is the sharing of feelings, thoughts, news or information that a person finds interesting or relevant, Oman said, and can promote businesses, serve as news sources and build relationships, among other uses. In Oman’s case, his Twitter account has become an “archive of (his) personal history of the past four years.”

More than 500,000 Twitter accounts and more than 100,000 WordPress accounts are created each day, and the number of Tumblr users grew 218 percent from June 2010 to June 2011.

Blogs allow people to communicate and share in a variety of ways and have become what Oman called “social endeavors.” People can post and re-post information, creating an online identity that is self-generated as well as recycled, produced by association with other users’ content, Oman said.

Anthony Vito, a journalism junior, runs his own fashion blog called “Chemise Noire.” Vito said he wants to break into the fashion industry and blogging gives him an opportunity to do so. Vito said he mentions his blog on his resume and uses it to network with members of the fashion industry.

“It is very true to myself and an extension of me and what I’m feeling,” he said.

Gabrielle Karcheski, a junior studying Spanish and art history, said her Tumblr blog brings her closer to the UA community.

“I don’t even know if I’ll meet some of the people who are following me, like I don’t know, but I feel more connected to the university, I guess, as a community just because some of the people who are following me now are fellow students,” she said. “I might be at Homecoming with them or in the library with them.”

Originally, Karcheski started her blog, “Tank You Very Much: A Celebration of the Bro Tank,” as a joke. But now, Karcheski updates her blog regularly with photos of UA students wearing bro tanks. She has become so involved in her blog that she may continue it once she has left the UA.

“It’s kind of, I guess, a way to celebrate something that is so present on our campus,” she said.

According to Oman, people blog due to a basic need to communicate with others. Because the Internet provides so many convenient platforms on which to do so, people blog instead of picking up a telephone or writing long-winded emails, Oman said.

Not everybody has accepted that Facebook updates and 140-character tweets are forms of blogging.

“I wish I had a blog,” said Britney Aguirre, a pre-nursing sophomore and Facebook user. “I feel like I have a lot to say.”
For Aguirre, blogs are used more specifically for documenting emotions and thoughts that the blogger may or may not share with others.

“It (blogging) has almost taken over the role of a journal or a diary,” she said.

In some cases, blogging carries a negative connotation.

Karcheski said she was skeptical of bloggers prior to establishing her Tumblr because she thought bloggers were only interested in promoting themselves instead of sharing valuable information or ideas. Vito said some people blog only for the sake of blogging.

“There is a connotation and an association with this word (blogging) that may or may not have an impact on whether or not someone chooses to read or to partake in a particular Internet activity such as blogging,” Oman said.

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